Russian coach rips into US journalist after speculation over daughter


Eteri Tutberidze lashed out at figure skating journalist Dave Lease

Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze has labeled US journalist Dave Lease “full of s**t” after he fueled speculation that Tutberidze’s daughter could switch to the American team while discussing aspects of her private live.

Rumors in recent weeks have claimed that Tutberidze’s daughter Diana Davis and her ice dance partner Gleb Smolkin were hoping to win a place on the US team and had undergone a ‘monitoring’ session under the eye of trainers in New Jersey.

It has also been claimed that the US-born Davis had married Smolkin in America earlier this year, with Lease sharing a marriage certificate on social media.

The journalist has discussed the situation among other Russian-themed topics in recent episodes of his show ‘As The Blade Turns’, which appear to have come to the attention of Tutberidze.

Replying on Thursday to a post by Lease’s ‘The Skating Lesson’ Instagram account, Tutberidze wrote: “Dave, you so full of s**t. You have no conscience, no honor.

“You don’t respect others, because you haven’t achieved anything yourself.

“Your statements humiliate the people around you. Shame on you.”

The Skating Lesson’s Twitter account shared the response from the Russian coach, writing: “The timing of this suggests Tutberidze watched the latest As The Blade Turns.”

Tutberidze’s daughter Davis herself took to Instagram at the start of the month to respond to the rumors of her marriage to Smolkin and move to the US team, saying there had been “a lot of false information.”

“We are athletes of the Russian national team and look forward to starting the new season,” wrote the 19-year-old.

“As for our personal life, we try to protect it and hope for understanding and tact from fans and journalists.”

Smolkin and Davis were part of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team at the Beijing Winter Games back in February, placing 14th in the rhythm dance event.

Tutberidze, 48, is among the most renowned coaches in world figure skating and has forged a steady line of world and Olympic champions in recent years.

That includes Beijing 2022 women’s champion Anna Shcherbakova and silver medalist Alexandra Trusova.

However, scandal surrounded another of Tutberidze’s teenage stars as hot favorite Kamila Valieva was embroiled in a row stemming from a positive doping sample taken several weeks prior to the Olympics.

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Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze. © David Ramos / Getty Images
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Tutberidze came under criticism from the likes of IOC president Thomas Bach, who accused her of creating a “chilling” atmosphere with her treatment of Valieva, although the coach received staunch defense in her homeland and from the 16-year-old Valieva herself.

Valieva’s positive test for the heart drug trimetazidine is still being investigated by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), with the Russian team denying any wrongdoing and saying that the substance could have entered her body through contamination with medicine her grandfather was taking.

Questions have also been asked about the delay of several weeks by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Sweden which dealt with her sample.

Russian skaters are currently banned from all events held by the International Skating Union (ISU) because of the conflict in Ukraine.

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